There isn’t really a scientific study that gives an exact figure of how long it takes to break in cowboy boots successfully.
The process of breaking in boots fast or slow depends quite a lot on your cowboy boots, as well as the method used to break in boots.
Most cowboy boots “should” be broken in and completely comfortable within 15 days. If it takes longer, then there must be a problem.
Today, let’s join us to find out how long you need to break in cowboy boots.
- Usually, it will take you 10 days to 2 weeks to completely break in cowboy boots by wearing them (about 3 days a week and 2-3 miles each day).
- If you wear cowboy boots more often, about 5 days a week, or use methods that speed up the break-in process such as steaming, moisturizing them, and using alcohol, then maybe cowboy boots only need 1 week to be broken in completely.
- Many cowboy boots don’t go through break-in time but are already comfortable right out of the box. Don’t be surprised if you’re that lucky ;).
- After 20 days, if cowboy boots don’t show any signs of being broken in (even though you tried a lot), they may not fit well, not be well-made, or their construction simply doesn’t match your foot type. The best thing you can do is to return them to the bootmaker.
How Long To Break In Cowboy Boots?
There are many methods to shorten the break-in time of cowboy boots. However, among them, the most natural and popular method is to wear them. I will start with this method first.
In fact, based on personal experience, most cowboy boots take up to 2 weeks to be completely soft, and comfortable, and mold to the feet well. This means they are totally broken in!
That’s when I wore cowboy boots 3 days a week and walked 2 to 3 miles a day. Suppose that I wear and walk the same distance every day for 5 days per week, cowboy boots take no more than 1 week to be broken in.
In general, in the beginning, the more you wear cowboy boots, the faster you break in them.
Using your feet is also highly recommended to break in cowboy boots, as this ensures cowboy boots will mold your feet the most. On the other hand, you need to be cautious if applying some tips or hacks to break in cowboy boots.
In general, breaking in cowboy boots will take more time than breaking in other footwear. This is understandable as cowboy boots are constructed of 100% leather. Initially, leather is usually hard, not soft like mesh or fabric.
Running shoes or sneakers are comfortable and light right from the start. For most cowboy boots, you will need to wait. But believe me, the feeling that cowboy boots give you will be different and better than any sneaker in the world.
In fact, there are many tips or hacks to speed up the break-in process of cowboy boots, including using a mixture of alcohol and water, or applying a leather conditioner, lotion, or utilizing heat (from steam or hair dryer), etc.
The common point of these methods is that they help the leather to relax, thereby they can quickly soften and break in your boots. You can see more of these methods in our article!
If you apply these hacks and tips, it can shorten the break-in time to 1 week, or at least 10 days.
The essence of breaking in cowboy boots is to soften them to help mold your feet and create the highest level of comfort. Therefore, when you make the boots soft, the break-in time will also decrease.
Another case is that sometimes you can break in new cowboy boots in a very short time. Many lucky owners get cowboy boots that are comfortable from the start without breaking in them.
Like cowboy boots made from ostrich leather, they are usually very soft and have a very short break-in time.
It is difficult to point out the exact time for breaking in cowboy boots. Your boots may be broken in sooner than the number I gave you (that’s cool!).
However, if you take too long to break in boots and still fail, that’s a bad omen. Maybe your cowboy boots have some problems!
Why isn’t it good if cowboy boots can’t break in?
In fact, if you spend 20 days trying to break in cowboy boots, but they are still not completely comfortable for your feet, you need to pay more attention, they may be too tight or not well-made.
Cowboy boots that are too tight will always create a feeling of being cramped. So no matter how hard you try to break in, it’s difficult to achieve the desired comfort.
Meanwhile, some cowboy boots with structural defects may be unable to break in. If the leather is not of good quality due to being too dry, it will stay stiff forever, and even crack quickly if you try to break in them.
There are also other cases where cowboy boots don’t fit your foot shape. If you have a high arch or flat foot, you will probably need cowboy boots with good arch support to be completely comfortable in the boots.
Most bootmakers will have a 30-day return policy. If your boots can’t be broken in within 20 days, you should return them.
Regarding this return issue, my advice is that you should not use any tips or hacks to break in boots that may affect their appearance. This will make it difficult for you to return as the bootmakers definitely don’t want to receive the products that have changed compared to the original version!
Some methods like using conditioner or alcohol can completely darken cowboy boots. So the safest way to break in cowboy boots is still wearing them!
In addition, for cowboy boots with smooth leather soles, we often have the habit of scuffing the soles to increase traction. Don’t rush to do so until you know your boots can be broken in well.
Before you leave
In general, you will need to be patient with cowboy boots as most of them will take much longer to break in than other types of footwear.
In fact, it’s not too long, only about 1 to 2 weeks. After this period, cowboy boots will give you a great feeling that no other footwear can.
Don’t rush to bring cowboy boots for heavy use in the first place when they are not completely broken in or you will make them peel off quickly.
Howdy y’all, and welcome to From The Guest Room, your ultimate guide to all things Western! I’m Jay Gatz, a lifelong cowboy boot enthusiast with over 5 years of experience in the Western style world. I’m excited to share my knowledge with you and help you discover the perfect cowboy boots and western gear to elevate your style. Let’s explore the rich history and timeless appeal of Western fashion together!